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Umbro 100 catalogue

Umbro 100: Sportswear x Fashion
By Andrew Groves and Danielle Sprecher

 
Published to coincide with an exhibition Umbro 100: Sportswear x Fashion staged by the Westminster Menswear Archive, this stunning catalogue includes over 120 garments featured in the exhibition, all captured in full-colour imagery
, allowing readers to explore the evolving relationship between sportswear and fashion.


Designers featured include Kim Jones, Aitor Throup, Aries, Palace, Paul Smith, Vetements, Supreme, ALMOSTBLACK, Bikkembergs, Eliminator, Philip Treacy, Slam Jam, Factory Records, FORSOMEONE, Peter Saville, Patta, Off-White, John Smedley, Nigel Cabourn, Christopher Raeburn, Rowing Blazers, NOWHERE FC, Gio Goi, Hanon, House of Holland, KANGHYUK, New Order, Numerals, Sweet Sktbs, R. Newbold, Pretty Green, and N.HOOLYWOOD.

Inside the Westminster Menswear Archive

Inside the Westminster Menswear Archive is a unique guide to the role of garment archives as an industry resource for designers to research and examine both historical garments and the work of their peers. Groves and Sprecher analyse over 140 key garments from the Westminster Menswear Archive, spanning the last 275 years, each brilliantly photographed in close-up detail and annotated with curator commentary, to inspire new generations of designers.

Highlights include garments from A-COLD-WALL*, Ahluwalia, Aitor Throup Studio, Alexander McQueen, Belstaff, Bernhard Willhelm, Burberry, Casely-Hayford, C.P. Company, Carol Christian Poell, Comme des Garçons, Craig Green, Dior Men, Fred Perry, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Junya Watanabe, Louis Vuitton, Martine Rose, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nigel Cabourn, Paul Smith, Prada, Stone Island, Umbro, Undercover, Vexed Generation, and Vollebak

Admiral 50 book

In the 1973-74 season, pioneering sportswear brand Admiral changed the British football landscape forever with the introduction and sale of the first-ever replica shirt. The move sparked an explosion in football design, manufacturing and culture from the early 1970s through to the present day, a journey that in 2024 has been chronicled in a commemorative, limited edition coffee table-style book.

Blending newly commissioned photography with archive images, original design sketches and contributions from collectors, presented with Glory's hallmark approach to design, the book also features:

Longer-form essays on notable kits and their context from some of football's best writers, including Harry Pearson, Rob Bagchi, Daniel Gray, Andi Thomas, Ian King and Ian Plenderleith.

Palliative Prototypes or Therapeutic Functionality Examining C.P. Companys Urban Protectio
Palliative Prototypes or Therapeutic Functionality Examining C.P. Companys Urban Protectio

I have contributed a chapter to the book Wearable Objects and Curative Things  edited by Dawn Woolley, Fiona Johnstone, Ellen Sampson, and Paula Chambers.


Towards the end of the 1990s, a reoccurring theme within contemporary fashion was of the body in trauma, decaying, degraded, or ill at ease. Simultaneously, as anxiety over the physical and psychological threats of ecological, environmental, and digital catastrophe intensified, a potential panacea was being proposed by the augmentation of technology within hybrid garments to alleviate these harms. The Urban Protection range developed by Moreno Ferrari for the Italian brand C.P. Company between 1997 and 2001 was a pivotal moment within menswear design, proposing a series of garments that performed as synthesises, acting as multifunctional protective barriers between the wearer and a hostile urban environment. Incorporating complex, mostly hidden technology into each garment, the specific restorative or enhanced functionality contained within these clothes acknowledged the complexities of the physical, environmental, and spiritual issues facing mankind at the end of the twentieth century. A jacket detected pollutants in the air and alerted the wearer via an LED screen; a trench coat was enhanced with hidden electronics to release soothing music; a parka featured an integrated anti-smog filtration mask, and another jacket was equipped with a personal safety device that emitted a loud, piercing scream. Yet, while these vestments possessed modern iterations of digital functionality, their accompanying textural descriptions alluded to ancient notions of protection, by referencing the womb, inner silence, the soul, and the creation of a shell for consciousness.


This chapter uses object-based analysis to examine Ferrari’s augmentation of the body through the creation of a system of technologically complex garments, situating it within the history of fashion’s utopian temporalities. It interrogates Ferrari’s use of text and its correlation to contemporary art practice, as a strategy for repositioning the augmented body within a metaphysical heterotopia.

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Flax Linen.jpg

I have co-authored a chapter with Dr Danielle Sprecher on Linen in Menswear from 1800 – to the present day, with photographs of garments from the Westminster Menswear Archive.

Linen has been the underpinning of men’s working dress and men’s fashions, whether practical or industrial, summer or winter. Everything from the farmers’ smock to the officer’s tropical uniform, the sailor’s blouse, and the tailored suit has been cut and constructed from linen.

 

It's no surprise that linen has inspired generations of designers, given that archetypal workwear in all its forms is the foundation of contemporary men's fashion. Armani’s soft tailoring, Carol Christian Poell’s modern undergarments, and C.P. Company’s Rubber Flax; all have been inspired and seduced by this most enduring of fibres and cloth.

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a_casual_obsession_inside_the_BSFC
A_Casual_obsession_inside_the_BSFC

Critical Studies in Men's Fashion.
Volume 9, Number 2, 1 August 2022
New Perspectives on Men's Underwear

 

This article interrogates the positioning of socks as a culturally transgressive garment by football casuals through a case study of the British Sock Fetish Council (BSFC). While most studies contextualize casuals within a discourse of hooliganism and violence, their use of dress as a means of negotiating shared masculine identities remains under-researched. Founded in 2011, the BSFC quickly grew to over 1000 card-carrying members, holding meets at Newcastle, Manchester, and London, as well as at football matches throughout the United Kingdom. Within the BSFC, the term ‘fetish’ is not used to denote a sexual predilection by an almost entirely heterosexual community. Instead, it acknowledges the members’ obsession with clothing and highlights the sub-textual tensions inherent in their individual and collective practices. The author was an active participant within the BSFC, witnessing first-hand the community’s development through the online dissemination of highly constructed, self-generated imagery, featuring colourful, patterned socks juxtaposed with rare trainers. This article explores the self-reflexive use of social media to construct group practices and provides insights into how socks were instrumental in establishing consensus on inclusive and hybrid masculine identities within this community.

Link to article

UNDERCOVER: FROM NECESSITY TO DEBRIS, THE POLLUTION OF FACE COVERINGS DURING COVID-19

Undercover book cover.png

Undercover: from Necessity to Debris, The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19.

Undercover documents 365 discarded face coverings found and photographed in the streets during 2020/21. It acts as both an archive of highly disposable material culture and as a reflection on the environmental impact of our response to COVID-19.

 

Hardback. 372 pages  330mm ×280mm Published in 2022 by Westminster Menswear Archive.

ISBN: 978-1-3999-1331-7

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C.P. LIBRARY

C.P. Library catalogue

C.P. Library catalogue

 

In October 2021, the Westminster Menswear Archive presented a companion exhibition to the official C.P. Company Cinquanta retrospective held in Darwen, Lancashire, as part of the British Textile Biennial.


The Westminster Menswear Archive catalogue features images of several of the objects on display in Darwen Library, an article about the Portrait Youth photographic project, an essay by Prof Andrew Groves, and paintings by Adil Amin, a Blackburn-based artist who depicts local young Asian males dressed in C.P. Company.

Paperback. 24 pages 297mm x 210mm. 11 colour photographs. Published in 2021 by Westminster Menswear Archive.

C.P. COMPANY 971-021. AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF ITALIAN SPORTSWEAR

C.P. Company book

C.P. COMPANY 971-021. AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF ITALIAN SPORTSWEAR. Featuring an introduction by Prof Andrew Groves.

 

The first monograph dedicated to the legendary clothing brand, founded by Massimo Osti 50 years ago. Through the personal stories and outfits of 50 passionate fans of the brand from across different generations and parts of the world, this epic 438-page book “informally” tells the story of the pioneering of an entirely new way of designing and wearing casual clothes: Italian sportswear. 

 

Paperback. 438 pages 300mm x 230mm. Published in 2021 by Idea Books.

ISBN: 978-8-8946-0690-4

 

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INVISIBLE MEN: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE WESTMINSTER MENSWEAR ARCHIVE

Invisible Men catalogue

The official catalogue for the 2019 Exhibition 
Invisible Men: An anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive.

Drawing exclusively from the Westminster Menswear Archive this exhibition explores the invisibility of menswear due to its intrinsic design language that concentrates on the reiterations of archetypal garments intended for specific functional, technical or military use. It illustrates how designers have disrupted this through minimal, yet significant modifications to produce outcomes that both replicate and subvert their source material.

 

Exhibition Catalogue. Paperback. 32 pages 297mm x 210mm. 15 colour photographs. Published in 2019 by Westminster Menswear Archive.

ISBN: 978-1-5272-4979-0

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